Sunday, May 25, 2008

Way Cool - First Interplanetary Library

You can't get more rural than Mars, can you?!?

From Resouce Shelf
May 25, 2008 at 7:28 am · Filed under Libraries and Librarianship, Science, Search News

First Interplanetary Library Will Land on Mars

The Planetary Society’s Visions of Mars DVD aboard Phoenix will land on Mars on May 25, 2008. This first of NASA’s Scout missions is led by Principal Investigator Peter Smith at the University of Arizona. Attached to the deck of the Phoenix lander, the DVD includes a collection of 19th and 20th century science fiction stories, essays and art inspired by the Red Planet, as well as the names of more than a quarter million inhabitants of Earth.

Visions of Mars – the first library on Mars – contains materials that represent 20 nations and cultures. Visions of Mars includes works by The Planetary Society’s co-founder Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Kim Stanley Robinson, Arthur C. Clarke, Percival Lowell and many more.

Source: The Planetary Society

Photo Credit: BlueDharma

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Experimenting with Diigo

I've just signed up for Diigo, a true social bookmarking tool in beta. It takes the social aspect of bookmarking a step up from, and has an interface similar to other social sites, such as Facebook.

You can do the traditional social things such as finding friends, seeing what they bookmark, send messages, etc. An aspect of Diigo that I'm looking forward to using is the annotation feature - you can highlight text on the bookmarked page and make notes/comments on the highlighted area. From the social end, you can see what others have annotated on their saved bookmarks, share, and I believe, make comments on others annotations.

Cool! I'll share more once I have a little time to experiment.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Peace, Love & Wifi

Peace Love Wifi (free) - Decatur, GA

Originally posted by Tame the Web by Michael Stephens.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Future of Computing

Energy savings, time savings, the possibilities are just beginning for the Memory Resistor. A Reuters article explains that the new electrical circuit does not accept electrical flow blindly - in any amount or direction; the memory resistor (memristor) "remembers" the direction and the amount of electrical flow.

Its impact on computers could be revolutionary. The memristor could eventually replace DRAM and upon start up, a computer would remember where it was when shut off.

Just think - no boot times! I imagine this would be rather like turning on and off a light switch; instantaneous computing!

View the whole article here.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Can We Look This Up on the Internet, Mama?

In an amazing article, "Gin, Television, and Social Surplus", Clay Shirky talks about how our culture is evolving in the way we spend our spare time.

It starts with the fact that over the last century, people have gained "free time"; before industrialization, most folks just struggled to survive. About the same time, TV came around - so what did most people do when they were not working? Of course, we watched TV.

But along comes the Internet, and people started spending time there, too. And now, Web 2.0 has started a trend of interaction, as opposed to the static "just throw it at me" of web 1.0.

He charts the time of people's television habits of the last century (couch potatoes!), and compares it to the "consume,... produce..., share..." mindset of today's average internet user. And then goes on to challenge traditional media to say why this change would not be beneficial.

He ends the article with something that reminds me of my own childen:

I was having dinner with a group of friends about a month ago, and one of them was talking about sitting with his four-year-old daughter watching a DVD. And in the middle of the movie, apropos nothing, she jumps up off the couch and runs around behind the screen. That seems like a cute moment. Maybe she's going back there to see if Dora is really back there or whatever. But that wasn't what she was doing. She started rooting around in the cables. And her dad said, "What you doing?" And she stuck her head out from behind the screen and said, "Looking for the mouse."

Here's something four-year-olds know: A screen that ships without a mouse ships broken. Here's something four-year-olds know: Media that's targeted at you but doesn't include you may not be worth sitting still for. Those are things that make me believe that this is a one-way change. Because four year olds, the people who are soaking most deeply in the current environment.... just assume that media includes consuming, producing and sharing.

It is true that while I grew up with the Jetsons and Star Trek (one way media), and keep waiting for all those cool innovations to come along, my sons are experiencing some of them now! And like the girl in Clay's article, they are not just content to sit and wait to see what the TV will throw at them. Case in point: My three and a half year old runs into the room where he knows I'm working. He waves the little dinosaur toy he has been playing with at me and says, "Mama, what is the name of this one? Can we look it up on the Internet?" So, I use up some of my "spare time" to do as he requests. The answer? A Dimetredon. Now, I've even learned something!

Photo Credit, Floresita.